All you need to know for To Kill a Mockingbird


Scout's personality

Unusually Intelligent - Hates school as she is picked on, for knowing more than the others in her class



Bright and articulate

Naive - highlighted when the reader understand events better than Scout herself

Tomboy - resists her Aunt's attempts to dress her like a girl

Quick-Tempered and Lack of self control - doesn't hesitate to fight people who insult Atticus

Inquisitive - Wants to know about Boo and go to Calpurnia's house

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Scout's Role

Scout finds her father outside the Maycomb jail and helps bring an end to a dangerous situation(ch15)

Narrator of the novel

Tells the story of her childhood, giving us her perspective on the Tom Robinson trial and other events

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Scout's Growing up

Understands a lot more about what's going on around her. At the end of the novel when Atticus says that they would have to reveal what happened about Boo Radley, Jem, Scout and Mr. Ewell, Scout said that revealing what Boo Radley had done " be sort of like shookin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"

Also as Scout grows up she comes to accept people as they are, not as she would want them to be "Atticus... He was real nice... " "Most people are, Scout when you finally get to see them"

She comes to understand the significance and wisdom of Atticus' words when he said that to understand a person you have to stand up and walk around in his shoes "Atticus was right,One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough"

Dill asked Scout if she would like to have a poke at Boo Radley and she said she "didn't think it would be nice to bother him"

Calpurnia shows her how everyone should be shown politeness

Aunt Alexandra teaches her the value of  being a lady

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Jem's personality

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Jem's Growing Up

He tells Scout to start being a girl "Jem had acquired an alien set of values and was trying to impose them on me"

"He was difficult to live with"

"he broke the remaining code of our childhood"

He goes to retreive his trousers from the fence in the middle of the night

He begins to recognise Boo's humsn side and the childish games end

He shows an emotional response to the injustices of the trial

Miss Maudie gives him a slice from the big cake, rather than the little one (which she gives Dill and Scout)

Calpurnia starts calling him "Mister Jem"

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Dill (Charles Baker Harris)

"Cry about the hell white people gave coloured folk without even stopping to think that they're people too"

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Atticus' Personality

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view"

Always does what he sees as right

Doesn't stereotype people - shows admiration for Mrs. Dubose

Doesn't take advantage of his social standing

Remains calm when provoked directly

Understands the importance of paying for his services

Shows an interest in Walter Cunningham's life

Understands Boo Radley's shyness

Very fair - tries to hear both sides of an argument

Doesn't want to see Bob Ewell as evil after when he attacks Jem and injures him

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Atticus' Parenting

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand"

"Whe Jem and I fuss, Atticus doesn't ever just listen to Jem's side of it, he hears mine too"

Doesn't spare his famliy fromt eh consequences of their actions

Doesn't beat children but is firm

Sees that the children need a mother figure

Treats the children as young adults - speaks clearly, matter of fact and answers all questions directly

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Atticus' Courage

Shows physical couage by shooting the mad dog

Shows moral cuarge by accepting Tom Robinsons's case to defent

Shows courage by keeping guard of the jail the night before Tom Robinson's trial

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Atticus' Mistakes

Trusts Bob Ewell not to carry out his threats of revenge

Trusts the old Sarum Lynch Mob not to try to Lynch Tom Robinson

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"Calpurnia had more education than most coloured folk"

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Boo (Arthur) Radley

One of the Mockingbirds of the story

Leaves gifts for the children

Watching out for Jem and Scout

Wraps a blanket around Scout's shoulders during Miss Maunie's housefire

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Tom Robinson

One of the Mockinbirds of the story

Accused of ****** Mayella Ewell

Married to Helen and has 3 children

His manners, accorning to Scout "Were as good as Atticus'"

Tom's innocence is proved by drawing attention to his weakened left arm. This is a symbol of the ability of the black community

Tries to escape from jail and is shot

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Miss Maudie Atkinson

"Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie"

"Well we're making a step - it's just a baby step, but it's a step"

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Aunt Alexandra

"Aunty had a way of declaring what is best for the family"

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Mrs Dubose

"the meanest old woman who ever lived"

"you're father's no better than the ******* and trash he works for"

Overcoming her morphine addiction before she died "Her head moved slowly from side to side. From time to time she would open her mouth wide, and I could see her tongue undulate faintly

She wants to die a free woman

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The Ewells

"A disgrace to Maycomb for three generations"

"They were people but they lived like animals"

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The Cunninghams

"Walter Cunningham's face told everyone in the first grade that he had hookworms"

"The Cunningham's never took anything they can't pay back"

"They don't have much but they get along with it"

"A mob's always made up of people no matter what. Mr Cunningham was part of a mob last night but he is still a man"

"The crash hit them the hardest"

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Symbolism of the Mockingbird

The Mockingbird is the most significant symbol in the novel. The repeated image of an innocent creature makes it a strong motif. The mockingbird first appears when Atticus tells the children "Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird", "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy ... that's why its a sin to kill a mockingbird.

"He likened Tom Robinson's death to the senseless, slaubhter of songbirds by hunters and children

"Well it'd be sortof like shootin' a mockinbird , wouldn't it?"  - About convicting Boo Radley for the murder of Bob Ewell

 - The children mock Boo Radley

 - Mayella accuses Atticus of mocking her

 - Trial is a mockery of Justice

Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are the Mockingbirds of the story

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Theme of Prejudice

Prejudice is the most prominent theme of the novel. It is directed towards groups and individuals in the Maycomb community and linked with ideas of fear, superstition and injustice.

Racial Prejudice - Maycomv is divided into clearly defined groups. The black community in Maycomv is seen as the bottom of the social structure, below the lowest class of white people - the Ewells - who are categorised as "White trash"

Although women are not seen as a separate class group we learm from Miss Maudie in terms of religion and from Atticus in terms of lay that women are regarded as unequal to men. They are not permitted to sit on the jury and Scout learns they are expected to dress in a certain way.

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Theme of Racism

Black inferiority was still the normality in most places

"separate but equal"

The white community have no respect for the black community - Represents the whole of America

"usual disease" - shows how common racism is, and how hard it will be to change the whole of America

Atticus realises he is "licked" before the trial even starts - te court won't take the word of a black man over a white man, even if that white man is "trash" like Bob Ewell

Aunt Alexandra is shocked by Tom's death - she'd begun to realise the consequences and Maycomb's rejudices

Tom's Death is insignificant to Maycomb only 2 days later

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Theme of Courage

 - Little Chuck standing up to Burris Ewell in class (ch3)

 - Jem rescuing his trousers at hight from the Radley place (ch6)

 - Miss Maudie's optimism after her house has burnt down (ch8)

 - Atticus facing a mad dog (ch10)

 - Boo Radley saving Jem and Scout's lives (ch28)

Real Courage - Mrs Dubose, continues to fight her morphine addiction by using Jem as well as a distraction, as well as teachin ghim a valuable lesson

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"Ladies wore corsets, men wore coats"

"The Negroes, having waited for the white people to go upstairs, began coming in"

"She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man"

"In our courts, when it's a white man's wod against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly but those are the facts of life"

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Small-Town Deep-South Mentality

Family Tradition and Heritage was very important, Aunt Alexandra was expecially obsessive over this, and thinks theat the longer a family has been on a peice of land the higher their ranking in society.

Role of a Woman they were still allowed to vote but there was not equality in emploment pay and opportunities, there was a stereotypical standard women had to meet to fit into society. Many women in small farming states didn't want more rights anyway.

Social Inequality anythng out of the ordinary, or 'alien to Maycombs ways' was seena s a problem as it was instantly judged and assumed to be bad news. An example of the effects of theis is Boo Radley, in the town prison and the Souther states reaction to the Civil Rights Movement

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Great resource, to improve could you reference the pages in the book for the quotes? 

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